top of page
essential kerala tour

South India tour

Essential Kerala

Tailor-made trip to South India to discover the best spots of Kerala, undoubtedly one of the most beautiful states of the sub-continent. The green paddy fields, the spice mountains, the palm-fringed beaches, the quietness of the backwaters, etc... make it a haven for nature lovers.  
Kerala is the most literate, prosperous, tolerant and cleanest state in the country, which makes it a very easy region to visit.

Whether chauffeur-driven or on a traditional boat through the canals of the Backwaters, exploring Kerala will enchant you.

From Kochi, the former Portuguese trading post, to the tea plantations of Munnar, via the superb beaches of Trivandrum and Kovalam, not forgetting the Periyar nature reserve, everything here promises a stay combining discovery and relaxation in the heart of a vegetation where palm trees are king.

Tailor-made Kerala tour

10 Days / 9 Nights

Stops in Kochi - Munnar - Thekkady - Trivandrum   Kanyakumari - Varkala - Backwaters 

Essential Kerala

Day 1 • Kochi 

Arrive at Kochi International Airport in the morning. Meet and greet and transfer to your hotel. In the afternoon, sightseeing tour of the former Portuguese and then Dutch trading post, famous for its bay and the spectacle of the large fishing nets. You will go for a walk along the Arabian Sea where the large Chinese fishing nets are spread out. They are said to be the remains of the expedition of the eunuch Zheng He who passed through here before the arrival of the Europeans.

Day 2 • Kochi 

Full day sightseeing tour of the 'museum city' as it is called, and more specifically the historical center in the Fort Kochi area. There stand the Synagogue dating back to 1568 and St Francis church, the oldest European church in India where Vasco de Gama was laid to rest in 1524 before being repatriated to Portugal 14 years later. The rest of the day will be at leisure for you to walk in the small narrow streets of old Kochi that are lined with the colourful old mansions of the spice merchants.

Day 3 • Kochi - Munnar

In the morning, you will drive towards the mountains of Kerala and the city of Munnar where the British governor used to reside during the hot summer. Still quite unknown, this charming little faded city lies at 1,524 meters above sea level, surrounded by about 24,000 hectares of plantations. Upon arrival, you will check-in at the hotel and will explore the local market at your pace.

Day 4 • Munnar 

This full day will be dedicated to the visit of Munnar and its tranquil surroundings where plantations of tea, coffee and cardamom form natural green carpets. Among the activities, you will explore the tea museum which gives you a good idea about the manufacturing process of the most consumed beverage in the world.A stroll in the plantations will take you to the tea pickers before going back to the city to visit the small Christ Church, built in the 19th century by the British planters. In the afternoon, excursion to the Madupatty dam located in beautiful green hills.

Day 5 • Munnar - Thekkady

In the morning you will depart for the "Periyar Lake Wildlife Sanctuary of Thekkady" through the tea and rubber plantations. The sanctuary, which stretches over the Eastern Ghats between 900 and 1800 metres above sea level, is located in one of the most beautiful protected areas in South India. After check in at the hotel, rest of the day at leisure for a stroll in the bustling bazaar of Thekkady, an opportunity to look for spices to take back home.

Day 6 • Thekkady - Trivandrum

In the morning, a boat trip will allow you to discover the Periyar Lake, dotted with dead trees. Sometimes, herds of wild elephants, permanent residents of the park, come at the lake looking for water. Many species of birds and other bisons and gazelles are also sometimes visible. After the ride, you will drive further south until the state capital of Kerala, Thiruvananthapuram, more commonly known as Trivandrum. Upon arrival, check in at the hotel and rest of the day at leisure to relax at the pool.

Day 7 • Trivandrum - Kanyakumari (Cape Comorin) - Varkala

Full day excursion to the southernmost tip of India, at Cape Comorin, where the Arabian Sea, the Bay of Bengal and the Indian Ocean meet. En route, you will visit Padmanabhapuram, the former capital (16th-18th century) of the rajas of Travancore. The magnificent royal palace offers the finest example of wooden construction that can be found in India. Upon arrival at Kanyakumari (new name of Cape Comorin), you will board the ferry which will take you to one of the islets located offshore and where the memorial of Vivekananda, great philosopher who introduced Hinduism in Europe and the United States in the end of the 19th century stands. After the visits, you will return to Varkala. En route, you will stop in a village to observe the artisanal manufacture of ropes from coconut.

Day 8 • Varkala

The whole day is free to enjoy the swimming pool or the beach of this tourist resort perched on the edge of 15-metre high red cliffs in a magnificent natural setting. 

Day 9 • Varkala - Allepey (Backwaters) 
In the morn
ing you will drive up north until Allepey where, around lunch time, you will embark on a "Kettuvallom", a traditional Kerala boat, for the discovery of the extraordinary "backwaters": all along the coast of Kerala, sometimes sinking far enough inland, a series of lagoons, lakes, rivers and canals dictate a special way of life to the local people. You will cruise along those fascinating routes. Lunch, dinner and overnight will be on board.

Day 10 • Allepey - Kochi 

After breakfast on board, you will disembark and drive back to Kochi that you will reach in the middle of the day. On arrival, the afternoon will be at leisure until your transfer to the international terminal for your onward journey.

Ideas for classic Kerala

This essential Kerala tour is only a suggested itinerary; it can be booked as is or used as a starting point to create your own tailor-made tour in South India. This tour is also available in a high-end version with 5* hotels at each stopover. 

- Add a few days to enjoy Ayurvedic treatments for which Kerala, in particular, is renowned.   
- Consider staying with local people for an experience of the local life.  
- At the end of your stay, head back to Delhi to visit the Taj Mahal on a day trip. 
- Best time to go: all year round, with a preference for the period November to March.


Please contact us for a tailor-made quote, excluding international flights.

Other ideas for Tours in South India

the grand south india tour
South India east to west
bottom of page